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Minnesota National Guard
Fly the Flag program reaches milestone

COB BASRA, Iraq " "When I took on this program I never thought it would be this popular," said 2nd Lt Kenneth Toole of the Red Bull Visitors' Bureau "But when I am out there flying flags, it's not just an American Flag that I am flying  I am doing something for someone else"

"Popular" is quite an understatement The RBVB proudly flew their 3,000th flag over Contingency Operating Base Basra Dec 18, as part of the "Fly the Flag" program One of the flags was flown and presented to members of Serving Our Troops, an organization that recently hosted steak dinners in St Paul, Kuwait and COB Basra for Soldiers and their families 

Day after day, Toole and other members of the RBVB tote dozens of Star Spangled Banners out to the flagpole at the entrance to the MND-S Division Headquarters building 

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There, they diligently raise, properly salute, lower and carefully fold each and every flag, while passing foot traffic snaps to attention and silently pauses to pay tribute to Old Glory

Imagine doing that 238 times in one day, as the RBVB did Sept 11  During their busy days, some people might not have the patience or desire to complete such a task, but the Soldiers who volunteer their time to fly the flag have a different perspective

"Someone is going to give that flag as a gift To give a flag that has been flown over here means something to the person that has taken the time to buy the flag and bring it in," said Toole "It is a true gift from the heart"        

Toole, who was touched by photos of someone who received a flag he flew with tears in her eyes, understands how much of an impact this simple gesture can have 
       
"This program isn't just about the flags," explained Toole
"It's about doing something for someone else and being part of something bigger  In ten years people will have forgotten many of the projects we built or some of the tasks we completed  But for generations to come those flags that were flown here will still be displayed in someone's house or in an office and forever will they say that they were flown over COB Basra Iraq by the Soldiers of the 34th "˜Red Bull' Infantry Division during their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom"

"The program has been a great success and it has been an honor to fly the flags over Basra, however, as with all things it too will come to an end," Toole stated

The last day flags will be flown for the program is Jan 2, 2010  It is estimated that by that time the RBVB will have flown over 3,500 flags, a number that exceeds Toole's goal of 1,000

By Spc Stephanie Cassinos, MND-S
Dec 29, 2009


Article source: http://www.theredbulls.org/article00539



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Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



34th Inf. Div. Commander Re-Dedicates Intersection to Fallen Massachusetts WWII Red Bull

Posted: 2017-09-20  08:33 AM
Winthrop WINTHROP, Mass. - Settled in 1630, Winthrop is one of the oldest communities in the United States. Service members of all branches of the military from this seaside town just north of Boston have fought on behalf of their state and nation since the Revolutionary War. On Saturday, Sept. 16th, Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the commanding general of the Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, participated in a ceremony that honored one of Winthrop's own: Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Biggio.

Like so many young men of his era, 19-year old Winthrop native Andrew Giovanni Biggio raised his hand to volunteer for service in 1944. He was assigned to B Company, 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Infantry Division. An infantryman, Biggio fought valiantly with the Red Bulls, liberating the Italian towns of Viterbo, Cecina and Liverno. His heroic actions in combat earned Pvt. 1st Class Biggio a Bronze Star Medal.



Minnesota National Guard to highlight diversity and leadership development at Women's Leadership Forum

Posted: 2017-09-15  10:45 AM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, Minn.- Nearly 650 soldiers and airmen are scheduled to attend the Minnesota National Guard's third annual Women's Leadership Forum at the 3M Corporate Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

"The Minnesota National Guard continues to diversify our force and grow strong leaders," said Brig. Gen. Sandy Best, chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard. "Strong leaders are able to self-manage and channel emotions to produce desired behaviors and results."

The forum is part of an overall effort to promote an inclusive culture, diversify the organization, grow strong leaders and provide professional leadership development for both women and men. The topics will focus on emotional intelligence, leadership, high performing teams and creating a championship culture.



Minnesota Guardsmen tasked for support to Hurricane Irma relief efforts

Posted: 2017-09-11  02:20 PM
133 AW FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn.- This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed this morning to support relief efforts.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

The 41 Airmen come from the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul and have a variety of skillsets. Fourteen of the Airmen are with the unit's Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and specially trained in emergency medical evacuations. They are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois where they will support potential missions in the Caribbean or Southern United States. The remaining personnel comprised of Airlift Control Flight, Logistics Readiness and Security Forces, arrived today at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where they will assist in recovery operations. The Airmen can support airports with skills and equipment to re-establish operations after disasters, secure aircraft and load and unload equipment.



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